Atlantic Notes: Rondo, Nets, Young

Rajon Rondo will return to Boston as a Celtics opponent for the first time Friday, and he hasn’t quickly forgotten his more than eight seasons in green, as he made clear today to reporters, including Earl K. Sneed of (All Twitter links). Rondo thanked co-owner Wyc Grousbeck and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge for the chance to have been a Celtic, calling the C’s “one of the best franchises in sports history.”

“Hopefully I won’t be too emotional. I’ll try not to cry a little bit,” Rondo said, as Sneed also tweets. “I’m very excited to go back. Those fans are amazing.”

The threat of Rondo’s impending free agency at season’s end surely played into Ainge’s decision to trade him to Dallas, but Rondo’s comments seem to indicate that he was in no hurry to leave Boston. Here’s more from around the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets are discussing numerous deals with several teams, but it’s not certain that Brooklyn will trade Deron Williams, Brook Lopez or Joe Johnson, league sources tell Robert Windrem of NetsDaily. A lot of the proposals the Nets are talking about would add to the payroll, at least for the short term, the NetsDaily scribe also hears.
  • The Celtics have sent James Young to the D-League, the team announced. It’s the seventh D-League assignment of the season already for this year’s No. 17 overall pick.
  • The Atlantic Division has the worst combined winning percentage of any division in the league, but it boasts two of the 10 underrated offseason acquisitions on Alex Kennedy’s list for Basketball Insiders. Raptors trade steal Lou Williams and Sixers draft find K.J. McDaniels are giving their teams much more than expected.
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